The Education Department has a web page with advice for families who are experiencing financial hardship.
The Department also has policies and guidance for schools on how they should support families experiencing financial hardship, set out in the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL).
The PAL states that schools should have strategies in place to:
- Support families on a case-by-case basis
- Communicate their financial hardship arrangements clearly to the school community
- Identify families experiencing hardship, while promoting their dignity, exercising sensitivity and maintaining confidentiality
- Have a suitable parent payments contact person, responsible for working with families on appropriate responses to financial hardship
Instruction in the the standard curriculum in Victoria schools is free, but schools are permitted to request voluntary levies, (see our School Levies page for more details).
The PAL acknowledges that parents may have difficulties paying for educational items or extra-curricular activities.
Suggested school-based support strategies include:
- Maintaining supportive contact with families
- Reminding families that school levies are voluntary
- Establishing flexible payment plans, or waiving, reducing or extending payment
- Referring families to government or community support programs
- Establishing strategies for the exchange of second-hand items such as textbooks, uniforms and stationery
Support services for families
The PAL lists support programs provided by the Department and other organisations;
(see the Resources tab).